Maybe it's because I hail from a socioeconomic class that treats parenting as a combination of professional and sacred duty, but the most shocking statistic I've encountered in a long time is buried deep within this fascinating NYT article about the increasing number of runaway children in the U.S.:

Federal statistics indicate that in more than three-quarters of runaway cases, parents or caretakers have not reported the child missing, often because they are angry about a fight or would simply prefer to see a problem child leave the house.

I think there's a lot to be said for not being a helicopter parent or not scheduling your kid with Mandarin, piano, and ultimate frisbee lessons; but when you read a stat like that one, it does make you realize that over-involved parents aren't the worst thing in the world.